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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Virulent Hate: Violent Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As COVID-19 has spread around the world, so have anxiety, fear—and scapegoating. But who’s being blamed, why, and with what consequences? Anti-Asian hate incidents have risen sharply, from the U.S. and UK to Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa. Refugees and migrants have borne the brunt of hate in Europe. In India and Sri Lanka, Muslims are accused of purposefully disseminating the virus as a form of jihad, while racist memes and anti-Jewish sentiments proliferate online. How are we to understand the pernicious spread of bigotry and violence? What are the repercussions not only for targeted communities, but for national cohesion and global connection?

A panel of experts addressed these questions in a conversation on May 19, 2020 about the virulent spread of hate amid COVID-19 as part of  Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs’ Confronting COVID-19: Global Implications and Futures webinar series.

The panel included Lauren Stokes (Assistant Professor of History, Northwestern); Ray San Diego (Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies, Northwestern), Melissa Borja (Assistant Professor of American Culture, University of Michigan); Britta Ohm (Associate Researcher, Institute of Social Anthropology, Bern University), and Ariel Schwartz (Associate Director of Research, Northwestern Buffett).

You may find a Youtube video and Podcast audio recording of the webinar below.